TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Ticker) -- Coming off an embarrassing conference-opening loss, Kennedy Winston and Earnest Shelton made sure the losing streak would not continue.
Winston scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Shelton scored 19 as No. 18 Alabama pulled away after halftime for a 73-58 victory over LSU in a Southeastern Conference contest.
Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried challenged his two leading scorers to "start playing" after a 70-56 loss at Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
"We just looked at it (Gottfried's challenge) positive," Kennedy said. "Every word he said was right. We had to go in and look at film and go back to basics."
Clinging to a 43-42 lead just four minutes into the second half, Alabama (12-3, 1-1 SEC West) scored 17 straight points to take a 60-42 lead with just over eight minutes to play. Kennedy scored eight during the run, Shelton added five and Chuck Davis chipped in with four.
"They (Kennedy and Shelton) are great people, and they listen, are coachable and want to win," Gottfried said. "Sometimes we have tough days, but they played well today, and we need those two to be leaders of this team."
Kennedy shot 7-of-14 and went over the 1,000-point mark for his career. Shelton, who had scored just 24 points on 8-of-26 shooting in his three previous games, shot 7-of-11 in this one.
"I haven't played well myself and haven't been very aggressive," Shelton said. "Tonight I tried to be aggressive and find ways to help this team with or without the ball."
"I thought that we did a good job in both halves of executing the offense," Gottfried said. "We got the ball where we wanted to get it; we got it around the basket and we got to the foul line."
After shooting 56 percent (13-of-23) in the first half, Alabama limited LSU to 29 percent (7-of-24) in the second, including 2-of-8 from the arc. The Tigers knocked down 6-of-7 in the opening 20 minutes.
"I liked the second half how we guarded them, we didn't do a very good job in the first half," Gottfried said. "That has been an issue. But in the second half we really defended, and that's the way this team has to play."
LSU (6-5, 0-1 West) cut the lead to 65-57 by forcing turnovers off its full-court press and getting seven points from Glenn Davis and a pair of 3-pointers by Darrel Mitchell, but Alabama's Ronald Steele knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:07 left to stop the bleeding. Steele, a freshman, tied his season high with 14 points.
"I think there's two things with our team that we need to improve on, critical second shots on goal that we give up from time to time and our transition defense needs to improve," LSU coach John Brady said. "I think if we get better in those two areas, our team is pretty good.
Davis scored 13 points, and Mitchell and Antonio Hudson had 11 apiece for the Tigers, who have dropped four of their last five but haven't played at home since December 13. Brandon Bass, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year, was held to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
"Bass is a good player," Alabama forward Chuck Davis said. "I stayed in front of him, and he had an off night. Some of that is credit to the defense and some of it is he just missed a few shots."